Diet Plan for Hypothyroidism - 30 Days of Iodine Rich Foods

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a thyroid disorder, which primarily indicates a low production of thyroid hormone in the body. The thyroid gland fails to produce the appropriate required level of thyroid hormone, which is in contrast to hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormones. This type of thyroid imbalance is usually referred to as under-active thyroid or ‘low’ thyroid. Imbalances of such kind are often categorized under Endocrine diseases, and results in number of symptoms faced by the patient. Hypothyroidism is treatable and manageable through medicines and healthy diet. The primary cause of the development of this disorder can be attributed to low levels of iodine rich food intake and the primary symptoms that occur from this disease are tiredness, excessive weight gain and being sensitive to cold. The disorder slows down one’s metabolism which in turns causes many harmful effects.

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Signs and Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

One of the biggest disadvantages of hypothyroidism is the fact that in some patients it produces little or almost no symptoms. The present symptoms can be vague and somewhat mild. But when the symptoms present in a patient they should be carefully monitored and looked after.

First and foremost, the patient presents episodes of extreme fatigue, the kind of tiredness that does not go away even after resting. Another symptom that presents in the patient is the feeling of extreme cold. The tolerance to cold reduces and the patient suffers from cold episodes more often. Moreover, memory is another symptom to look after. Hypothyroidism also presents poor memory and concentration issues in patients. One of the most serious symptoms of hypothyroidism is ‘Myxedema’. Myxedema is a dermatological change that occurs in the effected. More specifically refers to the swelling of the limbs (lower leg and behind the eyes). Another set of symptoms include Constipation, or more specially dyspepsia. Dyspepsia usually focuses on the indigestion and the feeling of ‘full’. The patient may present with bloating and even nausea and heartburn. Hair loss is another unfortunate symptom of this disorder. Thinning of hair and losing hair are common occurrences. Weight gain with poor appetite is a sure indication as well. As weight gain in itself is an indication of hormone imbalance or overeating but weight gain with appetite being poor, indicates low thyroid gland, especially if it presented with accompanying symptoms.

Moreover, another indication of hypothyroidism is the rate of pulse being slow. When the patient reports slow pulse rate with accompanying symptoms typical of those mentioned above, hypothyroidism is most likely, along with shortness of breath. Another symptom which may be easily overlooked and is associated with Hypothyroidism is the patient presenting with a hoarse and rough voice. When tendons reflexes tend not to relax quickly and usually present a delay, typically his indicates hypothyroidism, as well. In women particularly, menstrual periods becomes an issue as they are either very heavy or very light. They cannot be categorized as a normal period cycle. Carpal tunnel syndrome and an abnormal sensation in the body is another symptom. It is described as an “entrapment neuropathy that results in paresthesia, pain and numbness (among other symptoms) in the circulation of the central nerve which is as result of its compression right at the wrist in the carpal tunnel”.

Impaired or poor hearing is another symptom along with growth of hair which is coarse and dark black in color on the body. This type of hair growth is also accompanied by dry skin which turns rough and itchy. The color of skin is also affected, as most patients show signs of a paler skin. Another one of the symptoms of Hypothyroidism is weakness in the muscles. Muscle cramps are also accompanied with this. Lastly, Pleural effusion can also occur, this is the accumulation of fluid in the lung cavity. Along with ascites, which is the accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity and also pericardial effusion, which is again accumulation of fluid but in the pericardial cavity.

How to diagnose Hypothyroidism

Diagnosis of Hypothyroidism is primarily confirmed and conducted with Laboratory tests. First of all, hormones level in the blood is tested as an initial test for hypothyroidism. If evidence persists of the disorder, further tests are administered on the patient. More specially, TSH levels tests, followed byT4 level test if doctor finds it necessary. Hypothyroidism have three different interpretations, namely; central, subliminal and overt.

In normal thyroid function, the TSH and T4 levels are normal. The Central Hypothyroidism presents TSH levels as low or close to normal and the T4 levels as low. The Overt Hypothyroidism presents the TSH levels as high and elevated and the T4 levels as low. The Subliminal Hypothyroidism presents TSH levels as high and elevated and the T4 levels as normal.

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Hypothyroidism and Iodine (Prevention)

Hypothyroidism can be very well prevented granted people make educated decisions regarding it. For starters, you should read and understand the condition and conclude the anatomy of it. Understanding how and when it affects the body is key. Secondly and most importantly, by investing to add more iodine in to everyday foods also helps prevent the condition. Studies have shown to support this view and they even note that places where childhood hypothyroidism was once prevalent, by adopting an iodine diet (iodine rich foods), they have reduced and even eliminated the chances of its occurrence. Iodine rich foods include; Milk, Fish, Potatoes (baked), Cod, Shrimp, Beans, Tuna, Bananas, Yogurt, Lobsters, Cranberries, Bread (White) and Cheddar Cheese (etc). Iodized Salt is another prominent iodine rich food which should be adapted in everyday cooking. This is even supported by the WHO (World Health Organization), who stress its importance even for women who are pregnant. Moreover, other than iodine rich foods and intake of iodized salt, another way to increase the intake of iodine is by taking supplements by the mouth.

Causes of Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is directly associated with thyroid hormones. In this case, there is low production of said hormones, slowing down the body’s metabolism. People suffering from this disorder want to know why and how can there be low thyroid hormone production in their bodies. Medicine answers that question by stating possibilities likely associated with the origin of this disorder.

Low production of thyroid hormones upsets the chemicals in the body, as this tiny gland facilitates the body to very large extent. For example, it helps maintain carbohydrates and fats in the body, controls the body temperature and regulates protein production (etc)

First and foremost, you need to remember that Hypothyroidism can be caused by a number of factors. These include the following;

One of the most common causes of Hypothyroidism is the Hashimoto thyroiditis. This is primarily an autoimmune disease that leads to hypothyroidism. An autoimmune disease makes the body work improperly and the immune systems fight itself and the tissues within it. In other words, it creates antibodies against itself. When this occurs, the thyroid gland is also affected sometimes, hence, hypothyroidism. Hashimoto thyroiditis is very dangerous and damaging if it is left untreated, can even cause severe neurological problems among other symptoms.

Another very common and prime cause of Hypothyroidism is the iodine deficiency. When doctors explain about the prevention of hypothyroidism, they stress on an iodine rich diet. Even WHO (World Health Organization) makes it very clear to people that hypothyroidism can be avoided in children and adults alike by adopting an iodine rich diet. Pregnant women have been guided as such as well. You must be wondering exactly how iodine and thyroid function is connected. Mineral Iodine, which is food in dairy and seafood and other iodine rich foods, helps in the production of thyroid hormones. Rather it is quiet essential. If there is low in take of iodine, the problem of hypothyroidism can persist. Low intake will mean the hormone production will be low. On the other hand, taking too much Iodine can also lead to problems as well, namely hyperthyroidism. This is the overproduction of the thyroid hormone. It is important to maintain a balance, to achieve a normal level and not go too high or too low.

Secondly, hypothyroidism can be caused as a result of treatment that is done to correct the hyperthyroidism problem. Hyperthyroidism is the overactive thyroid gland issue. In this case, there is too much production of thyroid hormone and there are medications subscribed, among other approaches, to help return the gland to normal function. These medications are anti-thyroid function medicines and they can lead the body to develop permanent hypothyroidism. Among this treatment, hyperthyroidism patients are treated with ‘radioactive Iodine’.

Moreover, another cause of Hypothyroidism is the thyroid surgery. Sometimes patients who undergo thyroid surgery end up with reduced thyroid gland function. When this is the case, the thyroid gland does not produced normal levels of hormones and this can lead to Hypothyroidism. In some cases, the hormone production is halted and the patient has to take thyroid hormones for the rest of their lives to normalize body metabolism.

Radiotherapy is yet another cause of Hypothyroidism. When patients are diagnosed with cancer, they typically go through a series of radiation and chemo therapies. Radiation therapy that focuses on head and neck contribute to hypothyroidism. This can typically happen with cancer of the sound box or the thyroid gland etc. The thyroid gland and the normal level of hormones are affected and the patients suffer as a result, and have increased chances of developing hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is also caused as a result of taking prescription medications. For other ailments, sometimes completely unrelated to any thyroid issues, medicines are prescribed that end up boosting the chances of developing Hypothyroidism. For example, for certain psychiatric disorders doctors prescribe medicines which have lithium in them. Lithium is one of the medicines that affect the thyroid balance. It is also present in medicines prescribed for anti-arrhythmia for heart patients. Moreover, hypothyroidism is also said to be a hereditary disease- meaning it is a part of a person’s genes and it is transferred on to them through their parents. As this is a hormone based disease it cannot be caught but transferred in this case, it is not contagious. Sometimes though children at birth develop this disease in the womb and the parents do not have it either. Medicine cannot provide a reason why children develop this. These children sometimes not only have a defected thyroid gland but no thyroid gland at all.

Our main concern here would be addressing the iodine rich diet and its effects on preventing or managing thyroid issues. This diet plan is specifically designed for people who want to lose weight but have failed so far due to thyroid issues,

Hypothyroidism and Diabetes

The link between Diabetes and Hypothyroidism has been established by some studies which suggest that people who have diabetes are more likely to develop Hypothyroidism over course of their disease. Secondly, diabetics who are female are said to be more at risk of developing Hypothyroidism. To establish statistics based off these studies, it is reported almost 30% female diabetic patients also present with thyroid disease.

As we discussed earlier, when the thyroid gland does not produce normal amount of hormones, the entire body’s metabolism gets disrupted. The functions in the body tend to slow down. Similarly, the hormone insulin gets disrupted too. The pancreas produces this hormone Insulin, which turns blood sugar in to energy for the body. When the body metabolism gets disrupted, insulin production is affected and that can lead to diabetes. This is also why doctors always test for the thyroid function whenever a patient is diagnosed with Diabetes and why they always (and should) inform patients that hypothyroidism needs to treated carefully and urgently to avoid it leading to Diabetes (if it hasn’t already reached there.) Having Hypothyroidism does not mean one will definitely get diabetes, but they will need treatment and change in diet and lifestyle to avoid getting Diabetes in the future.

The cause of hypothyroidism can sometimes to specific to three different groups; primary hypothyroidism (mainly iodine deficiency), central hypothyroidism (autoimmune and lesions) and congenital hypothyroidism (radio iodine transfer or thyroid digenesis)

Thyroid and other health issues can be manged by adopting healthy diet habits. Hypothyroidism diet plan at end of this article will help you manage things more effectively.

Hypothyroidism Diet Plan (Days 1-15)

Days
Breakfast
Lunch
Supper
Dinner
Snacks
1
Hard boiled eggs with white bread toast and juice of your choice
A (baked) turkey breast sandwich with a drink of your choice
A bowl of bananas (cut up)
A delicious dish of Lobster served with gravy of choice
A Banana or two
2
A glass of Milk with fruit of your choice
Single serving of cheddar cheese pizza
Single serving of baked potatoes
Steamed fish with sauce of choice and vegetables on the side
Few Cranberries
3
Fish (or chicken)Kebabs served with white bread and strawberry juice
A delicious serving of fried shrimp and sauce of choice
Mix fruit bowl dominantly containing bananas, cranberries, strawberries etc
A delicious serving of lemon baked cod served with herbs and side of choice
A bowl of Beans
4
Strawberry milkshake (or banana milkshake) with cereal
Single serving of cheddar cheese pizza
A delicious plate of fish tacos
Pan seared Cod served with herbs and basil sauce
Few Strawberries
5
Mixed vegetables bowl with juice or cereal of your choice (with milk)
Tuna sandwich with dressing and side order of choice
A small bowl of plain yogurt
A delicious serving of Fish Chowder
A Banana or two
6
Fish (or chicken)Kebabs served with white bread and strawberry juice
Fried Cod with crumbs and baked potato
Green beans with pine nuts
A delicious dish of Red Lobster served with gravy of choice
Few Cranberries
7
Chicken strips with eggs and juice
Delicious Seafood Chowder
A delicious plate of fish tacos
A delicious dish of Lobster served with gravy of choice
A bowl of Beans
8
Strawberry milkshake (or banana milkshake) with cereal
A (baked) turkey breast sandwich with a drink of your choice
A plate of fried fries or baked fries
Pan seared Cod served with herbs and basil sauce
Few Cranberries
9
Italian Omelet with cream, cheese and tomatoes
Tomato soup with baked white bread
A bowl of plain yogurt
Seared Salmon
A bowl of Beans
10
Fish (or chicken)Kebabs served with white bread and strawberry juice
Delicious Seafood Chowder
Green beans with pine nuts
Pan seared Cod served with herbs and basil sauce
A Banana or two
11
Strawberry milkshake (or banana milkshake) with cereal
Single serving of cheddar cheese pizza
A plate of fried fries or baked fries
A delicious serving of Fish Chowder
A plate of fish sticks
12
Mixed vegetables bowl with juice or cereal of your choice (with milk)
Tuna sandwich with dressing and side order of choice
A delicious plate of fish tacos
Seared Salmon
Few Cranberries
13
Chicken strips with eggs and juice
Fried Cod with crumbs and baked potato
Chinese Chicken and rice
A delicious serving of Fish Chowder
A bowl of Beans
14
Fish (or chicken)Kebabs served with white bread and strawberry juice
A delicious serving of fried shrimp and sauce of choice
Mix fruit bowl dominantly containing bananas, cranberries, strawberries etc
A delicious dish of Lobster served with gravy of choice
A Banana or two
15
Mixed vegetables bowl with juice or cereal of your choice (with milk)
Tomato soup with baked white bread
Chicken sandwich
Shrimp Cocktail (Roasted)
Few Strawberries
 
 
 
 
 
 
*Prepare all food in Iodized Salt

© 2014 Haris

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5 comments

DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I like this diet and it is a problem with many individuals who forget what their body requires on a daily basis.


Bilaras profile image

Bilaras 2 years ago from Earth Author

Thanks DDE .


Tracy 18 months ago

Why white bread? I would think this would be something to stay away from.


Bilaras profile image

Bilaras 18 months ago from Earth Author

"White bread is not good" is a over hyped theory. Excess of anything could be bad. In a combination diet, white bread is more suitable due to its low sugar content when compared with other types of breads (Formulation could vary in different parts of world). Its easily to digest and has an ability to counter gas, sometimes caused by a diet change.


Sarah 13 months ago

I am wondering if you can do a post regarding pcos and nutrition. There is not a lot of reputable information out there!

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